Family’s values led Bradshaw to life’s mission

Memphis Standout profile for The Memphis Daily News

May 10, 2013

Fittingly, Kenya Bradshaw can trace her life’s mission back to her childhood and a family that valued public service.

As the executive director of the Memphis chapter of Stand for Children Tennessee, it is just such a background that bolsters her in the day-to-day struggle to make education available to everyone as early as possible.

“I feel like, if Memphis is ever to reach its fullest potential, the greatest vehicle through which we can get there is by investing in our children through early childhood education, early home visitation and in also having a strong K-12 public education system,” Bradshaw said.

The Whitehaven High School alum was born in Miami but moved to Memphis at a young age. For college, she went east to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga where she received an undergraduate degree in marketing and international business. The goal, clearly, was to make her mark in the corporate world of products and finance.

“My life’s ambition was to design the next Coca-Cola product or work for FedEx,” she said. “When I went to college I knew that I was going to work in marketing.”

While in school, Bradshaw participated in the program Student Support Services, which helped her to be able to finish school. Once she graduated, she was given the opportunity to work for the program and quickly moved into management.

“It still is one of the greatest experiences of my life because I could directly see the work that I did translated into changing the lives of my students,” she said.

Though she cherishes the education she received at Whitehaven, she felt she was unprepared to be competitive in college and saw the same situation for incoming students at UT … (read more)